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On the shores of the Missouri River, the Griffin Park Campground is conveniently located in downtown Pierre, South Dakota. Whether you plan to explore the wilds of the Dakotas or just want to get away for the weekend, Griffin Park’s location within the state capital offers a variety of opportunities for you. You will be within easy driving distance to some of South Dakota’s most breathtaking natural sites, have the excitement of the city at your doorstep, and everything in between. Griffin Park Campground is a wonderful place to enjoy some RV camping.
Griffin Park Campground can accommodate RVs of any size, so you won’t have to worry about size restrictions with your motorhome rental. Each campsite at Griffin Park has electrical hookups for your convenience. You can also take advantage of the on-site dump station. While there are restroom facilities within the RV campground, there are not shower houses available.
The RV sites at Griffin Park are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis; you may want to plan accordingly if you want to snag one of these centrally located RV sites. After your day of exploring the natural wonders of South Dakota, you can head out for a night on the town and explore the nightlife of the state capital. Or, if you’d rather stay closer to home, you can explore the nature trails, enjoy the Pierre City Swimming Pool in the warmer months, or go fishing along the Missouri River.
If you’re looking for a retreat into nature without having to stray far from the campsites at Griffin Park Campground, then spend the day at nearby Farm Island State Recreation Area in Pierre. Farm Island provides a little hideaway from the bustle of city life and a much-needed oasis for the local wildlife. You can explore the miles of nature trails that wind across the island, and you just might catch a glimpse of a deer, songbird, or maybe even a beaver. If you’re traveling during the warmer months, you can relax on the sandy shores of the beach and listen to the gentle waves of Hipple Lake. Or instead, you can challenge your friends to a game of volleyball. For the adventurous minded, you can learn more about Lewis and Clark’s expedition at the on-site museum detailing their journey.
Just up the road from Griffin Park is the Oahe Downstream State Recreation Area near Fort Pierre. On the banks of the Missouri River, Oahe Downstream offers plenty of recreational opportunities for those who want to indulge in South Dakota’s largest river. Anglers will have the chance to catch walleye, yellow perch, pike, or bass. Or instead, you can see the park from a different point of view by canoeing or kayaking down the river. If you would rather stay on dry land, you can head out onto the hiking trails or challenge your travel companions to a friendly game of disc golf. Those traveling in the spring can enjoy the butterfly garden filled with native plants and flowers in full bloom. Those traveling in the late autumn and winter can look to the treetops and try to catch a glimpse of a bald eagle as they turn the SRA into their roosting grounds.
Outdoor lovers flock to West Bend State Recreation Area in Harrold. Anglers of all skill levels can test their mettle in the wilds of the Missouri River. West Bend is known for its smallmouth bass and walleye fishing opportunities. However, the more protected lake on-site may yield better results than the river. Hunters can enjoy the bounty of West Bend in the autumn. The SRA welcomes hunters searching for Canadian geese and pheasant, provided you have the necessary passes and gear. Those looking to explore the landscape on foot can do so by heading out on the nearby Lewis and Clark Trail. This is the path that Lewis and Clark took from Illinois to Oregon, and it just so happens to run right past West Bend. Hit the trail and follow in the footsteps of some of America’s most famed explorers.
Those interested in military history can spend some time at the South Dakota National Guard Museum, conveniently located just a short walk from Griffin Park. Before South Dakota became a state, the Dakota Territorial Legislature created the Dakota Militia to protect the area. The Militia eventually became the region’s section of the National Guard. To preserve this unique history from militia to military, the museum showcases memorabilia, preserved aircraft and munitions, and uniforms. The museum is also staffed by members of the National Guard, so you are sure to learn something new from the exhibits and the people who work to keep the museum running.
Families traveling with children can spend some time at the South Dakota Discovery Center. With a seemingly endless selection of hands-on activities and exhibits for children, you’ll be able to learn about science, math, engineering, and nature. The museum hosts both permanent and rotating exhibits, so there is always the opportunity to learn something new. Some of the popular permanent exhibits include a treehouse, a pretend archaeological dig site, and a fun mirror room.
History lovers should plan to spend an afternoon at the South Dakota State Historical Society. Just across from the South Dakota State Capitol building, the historical society works to preserve the history of this frontier state. You can learn about the cultural history of the various native tribes who once called the Dakotas homes through the expansive exhibit that is continually changing, thanks to the archaeological efforts of the society. You can also learn about the early pioneering days as well as more about the recent history of the state. If you want to learn even more, you can explore the state archives.
Thanks to your central location in Pierre, there are plenty of options for gas stations and grocery stores. When it comes time to restock and refuel the Pierre motorhome rental, you'll have no trouble finding what you need.
Thanks to the Eastern European populations that moved into South Dakota, a lot of the comfort food of South Dakota stems from these unique cuisines. While renting an RV in Pierre, you can start your day with a sweet, fruit or cheese-filled kolache. The sweet glazed bread and filling are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.